Take a hike through the Highlands
10 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Challenging and interesting course that plays all around the park.
• Disc Play: Wonderful variety encompasses a gamut of fairway types (open holes in grassy fields, lightly, moderately and densely wooded holes), shapes, distances and terrain with red, white, and blue layouts to accommodate a range of skill levels. A few holes start in the open, playing to well protected baskets nestled away amid the woods. Nice mix distances - allows for a full range of lengths without having to different color tees. Some have several routes you can take, some give you only one or two and challenge you to hit a specific line. Makes for a well-balanced and quite complete round.
+ Elevation: About half the holes feature substantial elevation, ranging from subtle to dramatic. Splendidly employed in all sorts of ways, features uphills, downhills, ravines and plenty of rollaway potential (not only on putts and approaches but a few fairways as well).
+ Does a great job making short holes challenging. Quite a few baskets are short enough for almost any player to reach from the tee, but all of them really make you earn birdies. Short holes playing over deep ravines can be a real difference maker. Get through the trees and across, and you could be parked… take a bad kick off a tree and the resulting rollaway can be crushing. Others feature well-guarded pins or drop offs behind them. Bottom line is Highland's shortest holes aren't necessarily the most birdie-able ones on the course, especially for those who can hit 300 +.
• Equipment: White and blue tees are all concrete (except for #16) and in decent shape. Red tees are "natural" on about half the holes with a different look from the whites, and share the white pads on the other half. Most of the blues are unique with some really providing very different looks and challenges, but a few blues are common with the white as well. Signage is pretty good and reasonably informative (although you'll have to scout ahead to spot the basket on some holes). Baskets are older DGA's and functional (but not much more).
• Routing/Nav: Pretty easy to follow for the most part, course gets a lot of traffic, so paths are pretty obvious, which is good…'cause there's no map. Two 9 hole loops play back to centrally located parking.
• Aesthetics - Highland's standout features are the spectacular shots across deep ravines… very scenic with the steps leading down and away from the tee, coming all the way back up the other side. The rest of the course is a fairly pleasant stroll from field to woods and back ambling across some varied terrain.
• Memorable holes: For me, the holes with major elevation really stand out as the most interesting: #'s 6, 12, 15, as did 17 and 18
• Extras: Some holes feature steps that make an otherwise treacherously steep descent/ascent (especially when wet) fairly easy, while adding a certain rustic charm.
• One or two holes play near roads - hitting cars is a possibility (particularly on # 9).
• Baskets are old and pretty shallow, wouldn't surprise me if you get some bad bounce outs.
• Poison Ivy - easy to come by off the wooded fairways.
• # 13 (might have been 14): not saying you can't get to the pin, but there's no reasonably executable line from the tee - seems hopelessly poke and pray'ish.
• # 16: tee is a depression in the dirt/gravel - less than desirable footing.
Other Thoughts: Great course, offering a fun, scenic and challenging round with a little of everything. While I haven't played extensively throughout the Chicagoland area, I've played several of the higher rated courses and Highland has to be one of the very best (if not the best) in the area.
There are a few spots on the course I really don't think are traversable using a stroller or cart (holes 6 and 15). The terrain's not so demanding that one needs to be in particularly good shape, but it does require you to be reasonably able bodied and wouldn't I recommend playing here if you're recovering from an ankle or knee injury as some of the slopes are both steep and fairly long. Check out the course pics for #6 and 15 to see what I'm talkin' 'bout… do you really wanna deal with a cart on those?
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
Fun & Challenging
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - Variety of shots needed
- Length and openness of holes balanced and varied
- Elevation creates several interesting drives off of the tee and putts at dangerous greens
- Large, good quality concrete teepads
- Two nine-hole loops
- Good navigation and signage
- Benches at many holes
- Stairs to navigate steep climbs and descents
Cons: - Older baskets
- Trash frequently present around course
- Hole 16's gravel teepad
Other Thoughts: Highland Park is the one course I make sure to play if it has been a while since my last trip to the Joliet area. The hole variety and elevation on this course make every round fun from beginning to end.
The course is paced incredibly well, if you start getting tired of shorter narrower fairways, a longer, more open hole or two is upcoming. The result of which is a course without a considerable weak link.
The only thing this course does not have is a real water carry, but if you really want to chuck your plastic over a larger body of water, Round Barn Farm is a short drive south.
Most of the baskets are not in great shape and can lead to some unfortunate spit-outs, while not a big deal in a casual round, this can be quite frustrating when it happens in a tournament.
Highland park may be a bit rough around the edges, with trash frequent at some locations throughout the park, but it is not enough to take away from what I have found to always be a great place for a fun round.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Gem of a course!
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: * Great signs, not always a big deal, but these are some of the best signs I have ever seen. They clearly mark obstacles, other tees, distances, and of course the basket. One plus is the signs also mark where the tee is for the next hole.
*Terrific use of elevation. Even the open holes seem to use slight hills to shape the hole. Several holes cross either an old road or a ravine. There are holes going uphill, and downhill also. Some baskets are precariously close to a steep dropoff, and it adds some tension to those risky long putts. This is the best use of elevation I have encountered in Chicagoland so far!
*Very well shaped fairways. There is some of everything here; doglegs left and right, tricky s-shaped fairways, the above mentioned ravine crossing shots, long open holes that still favor placement over raw distance, and some relatively tight tunnel shots.
*Most holes have three separate tees to add/decrease the difficulty to suit everyone's ability.
*Great variety in the distance of the holes. Most are on the shorter side (200-250) unfortunately, but there are several bombers (+500) to even it out.
*The stairs are so, so nice. Touches like that can separate an average course from a very nice course in my opinion. They are very much appreciated, to whoever built them.
Cons: *Lots of trash. Trash everywhere. Also it seems like someone went through and smashed a glass bottle on every inch of ground they could. Seriously there is almost as much broken glass as dirt here.
*A little picky, but like I said there are a lot of holes in the 200-250ft range, and it would be nice if the average length was a little longer.
Other Thoughts: I just really wish I lived closer than an hour away from this course so I could play it more often. I see they are having a tournament here in a few weeks, so maybe I'll sign up to play that. The environment here is really cool, there is an abandoned road running through the woods, and some random benches in the woods. Everyone in the general Chicago area owes it to themselves to check out this great course!
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
A Hidden Gem Among the Flat Plains
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -great use of elevation change
-very picturesque in the middle of the woods
-challenging course offers a variety of shots and situations you can't find everywhere
-very good signage for holes
-next tee indications help with navigation
-almost exclusively concrete tees
-stairs for steep climbs
-quality baskets in good shape
Cons: -some pretty muddy spots
-definitely can lose some discs
Other Thoughts: This course was fantastic and I honestly didn't expect to find something like this in Joliet. Most of the courses in the Chicago suburbs are VERY flat- it can't be helped for the most part and we live with it. This course has some very good elevation change for the area and they use it so well. There are several shots over ravines, uphill and downhill shots, narrow shots through the woods, just about all you could do on the plains. This course definitely will challenge and humble most players, but to me that is a lot of the fun of it. There are some muddy spots on slopes if you miss your shot, but nothing terrible. It wasn't my day and I lost 2 discs here but in general most of the woods are not super overgrown so I think most people would have better luck. I would definitely come play this course again and I highly recommend it if you're in the area. The course is very well maintained, and the stairs in key spots are a huge help. Great baskets and signage too. Bring some water and a snack, it can take awhile to play all 18 holes. There are definitely birdie opportunities but if you're not on your game some of those can easily turn to bogies. All in all, a great option that everyone should try out.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: I was very impressed with Highland Park... it is definitely one of the best suburban courses I have played. Here are the pros:
*Unique holes! The holes here were well mixed and not your typical wooded vs. unwooded holes. They were special because of the crazy elevation at the course. Lots of uphill/downhill throws made the course super fun.
*Challenge: the challenge here was not overwhelming, but was definitely enough to whoop my butt. Plenty of longer holes and punishing roughs without being completely daunting.
*The overall upkeep of the course was great. The signs were the best I have ever seen and it really seemed like the course was someone's "baby"
*Very scenic park. overlooks a river and plays over an old abandoned road.
*Multiple concrete teepads on most holes!!! well marked.
*Disc golf is only one section of the park... it looked like there was even more to do on the other side of the park but I did not go check it out
Cons: *Hole 16 is like the runt of the 18 hole litter that is Highland park. What the heck?! It is difficult to find and there are no signs directing golfers to it (though we found a random piece of paper on the ground with the words "hole 16" on it). The teepad for this hole is gravel and it pretty seems like someone forgot about it. I don't think I've seen such a neglected hole on an otherwise awesome course before.
*One of the beginning holes teed off from foul ball territory of a baseball field. The throw was essentially over the baseball diamond. This is dangerous for disc golfers AND ball players and can be pretty lame if a game is being played.
Other Thoughts: For locals: My friend and I had a lengthy discussion over whether we liked this course or Eagle Ridge in Oswego more. I called it a tie. I also couldn't decide between Highland Park and Community Park in Channahon, but I gave it a slight edge over West Park.
For out of state-ers: If you are going through Illinois you should make every effort to play this awesome course!
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Aesthetic--Plays through a multi-use park but the dg areas are pretty dg exclusvie. plays over a "ghost" road several times to bring a ravine into play.
Baskets-- old, but in good repair. visible enough in the thickly wooded holes.
Routing/nav--easy, has painted tines and next tee signs to help route you through the course.
Pads-- nice big (too big?) in great repair. multiple tees. some of the "short" tees are natural but are marked with red concrete tubes.
Challenge/variety-- Love it, there is such a big amount of goodness here. tight wooded holes, open field holes, into/out of woods. long short, great variety. Never felt unchallenged here by any means.
Risk v reward- the variety here drives the risk v reward. the ravine shots push the limits of disc golf. throwing across a ravine and UP a hill after is GREAT! Some of the long tees here are INSANE. I typically played the white tees and some of the blue tees were crazy!
Bridges and steps-- great! in great repair ( a little slippy when wet) and a great help for going up and down wet hillsides.
Signage- adequate. not the best signs but definitely adequate for routing.
Cons: Wet- low areas are wet and muddy. understanding this is uncontrollable.
hole 16- no tee pad? or did I miss it? I found a sign on the ground for a hole 16 but didn't find it. I found 17 and 18 thereafter easy enough. I did see the basket for 16.
trash- a ton of trash here. the upkeep isn't as nice as channohan but it's well loved by it's locals/ regulars
Other Thoughts: A great great course, I truly enjoyed it!
apparently the teepad for 16 is non-existant but in the works, instead of staying above the road, follow the road to find the tee and basket!
9 of 10 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
One of my favorites
Pros: -Lots of obstacles
-Wide variety of distances
-Well laid out course that flows nicely
-Challenging for players of all skill levels
-Just plain fun
-The road!! The road is now paved, Which is a huge improvement over the old road that existed one of the past times I was here.
Cons: -The baskets, These bad boys can spit out even your best putts.
-That stupid bench setup around the hole 13 basket, Who's idea was that?!?!
-Mud, If it has rained recently don't wear your new kicks out here, cause they are gonna be trashed afterwards.
-The fact that I dont live close enough to play here every day...
Other Thoughts: I love this course, I only wish it were closer to me. It is one of the few courses in the area that really kicks my butt. By the time I've thrown 18 holes here I'm ready for some cold beers and talk of the best shots of the day with my buddies.
I took a friend who is an absolute novice here and he had a tough time, by hole 15 he was ready for it to be over with so if you were thinking about bringing someone who is new to the sport here, it may not be the best idea, Just my opinion.
The mix of shots here is fantastic, I love how this course really brings all parts of your game into play.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 3 Not
One of the best Chicagoland Courses
Pros: Multiple sets of concrete tee pads with good signage. A wide assortment of lines required to score well from tight wooded holes to open bombers. There is some nice elevation for a Chicagoland course. The rough is not bad here. Hole 4 is an awesome hole. From the short tee it is a extremely hard 2 to get as it is a long righty backhand flex shot. Behind 5's green is a giant drop off. It is very easy for drives to get long and down the hill. There are a few par 4s from the longs. This is a fun course with many different layouts for all skill levels.
Cons: Pretty eroded and can get busy. Gets very muddy and gross when wet. People used to dump garbage on this land before it was a course so be wary of where you are walking or looking for discs. Some of the holes are kind of boring compared to the cool holes on this course.
0 of 3 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 2 Not
an instant favorite
Pros: This course has it all - the long wide open holes that make you want to rip your arm out of its socket to reach the basket, and the tight 200ft holes that are deceptively difficult. most were in the 250-320 range but were a challenge with all the tree cover. use of elevation is fantastic. the condition of the course was great, even considering the full ~24 hours of rain the day before. paths were all clear, tee boxes were clean.
Cons: if i HAVE to nit-pick... i loved the usage of the giant trees lining the fairways (ex #8), but a ~240ft hole with a random spattering of trees all over and no distinct fairway leaves more to luck than to skill when trying to reach the chains. its personal preference really, but i'd rather at least be able to pick a good line than leaving the drive to the disc-gods. as an example, #18. its tough to change without completely ripping a bunch of long standing trees out, i understand. like i said, its picky.
Other Thoughts: overall i think i have a new favorite course. the elevation changes and variance from wide open to super tight makes you use every disc in your bag. love it.
3 of 5 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
The NEW West Park???
**Kudos to Gary Lewis for his creative use of what I heard was on old dumping ground for the locals.
**The course is laid out in two 9 hole loops back to the parking lot, I like that quite a bit in a course...
**2 HUGE thumbs up, and, my personal THANKS :-) to whoever built all of those stairs (J-Town Disc Golf?). My back is killing me just thinking about it...
**Nice, basic, signs to get you throwing in the right direction.
**Risk vs. Reward is a huge factor on this course. Go for it and you might be 50 feet down the ravine behind the hole???...
**Several baskets on, or, very near steep drop offs. Even errant putts could end up 30+ feet away on some holes.
**Love the shots over the ravines, tougher to judge the distance for sure.
**#12 is a FUN downhill Ace-Run…
**#13 with all of the park benches???
**The Baskets…Old DGA Mach 1s upgraded with an extra set of chains. It's a little unnerving staring down those shallow trays ;-)
**Pretty muddy when we were there. Looks like the forested sections hold water for a while.
Other Thoughts: .
This course seems like a win, win situation for everyone…
It's went from a dumping ground and hangout for miscreants, to a super nice challenging DG course.
I'll be back to play this one again FOR SURE
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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